Derek P. Collins
Product Designer & Developer

4:05 a.m.

The day I became a dad.

On February 16, 2021 at 4:05 a.m. EST I officially became a dad. The feelings I experienced when my son was born were ineffable. I watched in awe as my wife labored with the most courage, strength, and stamina I’ve ever witnessed. The entire experience was truly awesome.

Leading up to our son’s birth, we created a birth plan1, which was immediately thrown out when my wife’s water broke — and that was just the beginning. To make a long story short, our son ended up spending a week in the NICU, but we’re all home safe and sound and everyone is healthy.

We can’t thank the staff, nurses, and doctors at the Cleveland Clinic enough — they were kind, accommodating, and extremely competent.

Overhead photo of our baby in the NICU with tubes and wires attached.
Photo of our baby smiling.
Photo credit Erin Collins.


  1. I would still recommend creating a birth plan — it’s a great exercise for consciously thinking though how you’d like your birth and labor to take place and it gives you and your partner and opportunity to make sure that you’re on the same page and share the same expectations for a moment that can be quite chaotic. Just be prepared to throw it all out and play it by ear!